Name Confusion

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I probably shouldn’t have been surprised at what my daughter blurted out at MyGym. But I was, and I was embarrassed.

For background, my friend Blair and I have done a bunch of play dates together. Her son, Declan, and my daughter are the same age and they’re great play buddies. Blair’s husband, Fred, is at the play dates and at MyGym a lot of the time (awesome for being so involved), so my daughter, Savannah, has gotten to know him. At a recent play date with Blair and Declan, I explained to Savannah that Fred was Declan’s Dada.

Anyway, Savannah and I were next to the MyGym instructor during circle time. When the music stopped, our instructor turned to me to introduce myself and Savannah. Right then, Savannah looked up and saw Declan and Fred, and her face lit up. “Dada!” she happily shouted, pointing right at him. Everyone looked over.

Then it got a bit awkward as they realized that she was pointing at someone who wasn’t her dad.

“Declan’s Dada”, I explained to the class who was looking a bit confused.

The instructor made her way around the circle, continuing to invite folks to introduce themselves.  Then, when she got to Declan and Fred, little Declan looked up and spotted us. “Nanna!” he shouted, excitedly, pointing right at Savannah.

I felt that somehow cleared up any questions—the kids were clearly friends.

Soon after, my friend Blair showed up and I told her the story. I think it was clear to anyone who cared that she and I are friends. Declan and Savannah rode in a zipline together and the instructors sweetly called them besties.

Here’s the thing—Savannah was confused about what to call him, because I never told her what to call him. I told her he was Declan’s, dada. I think she even asked, “Dada?” and I answered, “yes, Declan’s Dada”.

The truth is, I don’t even really have an answer for her—what are we supposed to call our adult friends around our kids now? Should I be saying Ms. Blair or Mrs. Blair, or Mrs. Morris (which is so weird and formal for me to be calling my friend), or has she changed her name to husband’s last name now anyway?

So how should our kids address our friends? Or should I just keep dodging it, and just kind of shrug, when she yells Dada to random men?

My friends’ names have been changed, above, but thank you to Blair, Fred and Declan, for letting me share this story. If you enjoyed this article and you’d like to see more from Mama Lovejoy, you can “like” my Facebook page. You can follow @MamaLovejoy1 on Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr, check out, or please share Mama Lovejoy with your friends. Thanks!!

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